This is a guest article from the International Revolutionary People’s Guerrilla Forces, an anarchist formation fighting in Rojava, honoring the memory of Martyred Maoist Guerrilla of the TIKKO. We are posting it here in solidarity with these comrades and in the memory of this hero of the people. We are especially moved by this statement. – RGA
On August 14th 2017, TKP/ML – TİKKO Rojava Commander Orhan yoldaş was martyred during an operation in the region. One IRPGF comrade and two other revolutionary comrades were also injured in the operation. With a life of revolutionary struggle spanning nearly 40 years, Orhan yoldaş was an expert guerrilla fighter and commander for TKP/ML-TİKKO. He trained in Lebanon before and during the Civil War and fought for the liberation of Palestine against Zionism and reactionary factions. Under the nom de guerre Martager, he would become a commander in Palestine from 1988-1990. Orhan yoldaş as an ethnic Armenian fought against ethnic chauvinism and had a close relationship with ASALA as well as with the hero, Monte Melkonian. While fighting in Palestine his attention was drawn to the escalating situation in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, and there Orhan commanded Armenian forces from 1991-1992. He returned to the guerrilla forces in Dersim and eventually took command in Iraqi Kurdistan in 2014, and in Rojava in July of 2015 as part of TKP/ML’s Middle East command. He fought against Daesh, whom he considered an enemy of the people and of the unity of Kurds, Arabs, Armenians, Turkmen, Assyrians and other minority ethnic groups. Orhan yoldaş was the embodiment of international revolutionary struggle. He trained, fought, and destroyed the enemy in multiple countries spanning the Middle East and beyond.
The IRPGF is based with TİKKO in Rojava and our two groups have been training and conducting operations together for many months. Our relationship has only strengthened over time; built on a deep sense of comradeship, solidarity and love. We are devastated by the loss of Orhan yoldaş who was an inspiration to all of us. In our time together, Orhan taught us what it means to be a guerrilla and how to dedicate one’s life to serving the people. Rarely resting during the day, he dedicated his life to constant reading, exercising and weapons training. From the pre-dawn hours until long after sunset, Orhan yoldaş would have a work rhythm that most, even those decades younger than him, could not keep up with. Though he was serious and disciplined, we enjoyed moments of great joy, celebration and laughter together. His boundless and youthful energy was contagious and no doubt came from a deep devotion to the revolutionary struggle. He always remained humble and grounded, never trying to be more than a simple worker.
We marveled at his knowledge and life experiences. We learned from his immense sacrifice and selflessness towards all people. The poorest villager turned into his best friend, and he was loved by everyone who met him. We listened to his stories over Arabic coffee; about Palestine, Lebanon and the struggle of Armenians in the 20th century. We shared such amazing and rich moments with Orhan yoldaş. Often heard saying, “It’s the dialectic!”, Orhan yoldaş would read and reread Mao’s texts for over 40 years taking countless pages of meticulous notes that he would discuss every morning with other TİKKO comrades. He told us that everyday he was still learning new things from Chairman Mao. With us anarchists of the IRPGF, he would speak about our common ideological links, taking the time to read and engage with our texts and analysis. Ideologically, we were bonded as international revolutionaries, anti-imperialists and anti-fascists who sought to fight against the state, hierarchy and bureaucracy. He was dedicated to building long term ties between Maoists and anarchists which he felt was important for advancing the global revolutionary struggle.
Orhan yoldaş, through your life of struggle and revolutionary internationalism, you have opened up the way and showed us the path of the guerrilla. You will always be remembered as our teacher and as a student of the people. A man of little possessions, who gave everything he had to the people, we will remember you with your tattered book of Mao and your Kalashnikov always by your side. You will live on forever in our struggles as we continue to battle the systems, structures and forces you dedicated your entire life to defeating.
ORHAN YOLDAŞ IS IMMORTAL AND LIVES ON IN THE REVOLUTIONARY STRUGGLE!
There is no shortage of counterfeit “communist parties” in the United States. There is one for every season and for every flavor of revisionism, and now there is one more for the garbage heap, one more that must be swept away in the revolutionary process. This process has twists, turns, advances, and retreats, and this statement is not intended to definitively put the matter to rest but instead to continue the struggle against misconceptions, lies, and outright charlatans.
Sometime around 3am on the morning of Sunday, August 6, a group (presumably a group) declared themselves a pre-party formation. This is not uncommon in the age of internet role-playing and substanceless declarations. But the reason it concerns us is that this one claims to be Maoist.
The document itself is short and arrogant. The “organizing committee” issuing the document makes lofty-sounding calls and even attempts to describe itself with what might seem to be basic Maoist principles and language. But what about its substance?
It begins almost immediately with a vulgar and false attack on the actual US MLM movement, which it positions itself against from the start. It deliberately misrepresents the composition of our movement, stating that we are
“Scattered and feuding bands of overwhelmingly white and petit-bourgeois leftists who decided to pick up some books one day, substituting meaningless posturing, practical anarchism and a red cloak to draw the attention of others of their class background and psychology are not revolutionary.”
Let’s go into these claims, starting with the allegation that all we are is scattered, feuding bands. All established collectives with provable mass work in the US enjoy more unity now than at any point in recent years. What these revisionists call feuding we can only call a united effort against their brand of false Maoism. We make no apology for class struggle, and that includes the struggle against revisionism, whether or not it wears a Maoist mask.
The second lie is that the US MLM movement is “overwhelmingly white.” There is no attempt at all to prove the claim—it is tossed out in a pathetic effort to discredit our diverse multinational collectives on the basis of hollowed-out identity divorced from political content. The fact is that the most advanced MLM collectives in the US do mass work within oppressed-nations communities, and these oppressed nations have produced skilled organizers who hold positions of leadership in every collective that has been excluded by this false “pre-party formation.”
Next, we should clarify that we did not just “decide to pick up books one day.” While there is nothing wrong with picking up books, if they had bothered to study the history of the collectives they attack, they would quickly learn that we all developed in material struggles of our class and then, in that process, reached out for the theory that would most effectively serve our class: Marxism-Leninism-Maoism.
On that note, the document makes a claim about the class background of those in our movement, but once again presents no evidence. What’s more, class background only counts for so much, and it is telling that this statement makes no mention of class stand. For instance, what about the petit-bourgeois class stand indicated by choosing to form a “pre-party” overnight without the participation or support of the most established and advanced Maoists in the country, who are patiently and painstakingly working toward real unity? For the record, plenty of us are working-class, from working-class backgrounds. Here the paper again puts identity above political line. For more on this error, please read our piece “On Identity Opportunism.”
They go on to say,
“Those who willfully and purposefully isolate those patient and deep rooted community organizers who do mass work specifically tailored to and designed for the American proletariat and other exploited classes today will not build a party. They are not revolutionary. They build cliques and cults and contribute only to pointless bickering and macho posturing which generates burnout, disillusionment and attention of a negative type. We know this, because we’ve been through it, witnessed it and rejected it.”
Let’s also take this claim by claim.
We fully agree with the first sentence, which makes the declaration of this “organizing committee” even more incomprehensible, because it exists on the basis of excluding organizers who have done years of patient mass work and have developed useful programs and mass organizations. These include the premier anti-gentrification work in Boyle Heights, home of RGLA, and the trans housing program, free food programs, and other mass work in the home cities of the other Maoist collectives.
We find the charge that the US MLM movement contains cults to be particularly revealing, because “cult” is so commonly the go-to pejorative used by revisionists who wish to denounce a thing without calling it revisionist. Lenin explained that revisionists always deny the existence of revisionism lest they reveal themselves. Instead, they tend to throw out scary terms like “cult” without attempting to explain exactly what cults are. For most revisionists, to scientifically analyze something would be to try to handle tools that could easily reveal them as the frauds they are. To be clear, an organization is a cult if it seeks to cultivate the suspension of critical thinking in an abusive effort to coerce or trap membership. Calling an organization a cult in a casual way makes light of the serious abuse carried out by actual cults. This is reckless labeling unfitting for a communist to engage in.
While the enemy tries to paint the actual Maoist movement in the most despicable light possible, we can only refer to the democratic traditions within our movement; to our many, sometimes drawn-out struggles for unity; and to our patience in establishing a pre-party formation, all evidence that our organizations have not been robbed of their critical thinking.
Next they charge us with posturing. This is another claim that so much more aptly describes themselves. Say what you will, at least we did not declare an organizing committee overnight, we are not merely pretending to be communists, and we do the necessary patient work to link with the masses.
Finally, they claim that the genuine MLM movement promotes burnout. Is it true? Well, a movement suffering from burnout would be shrinking and not growing—it would be dividing and not uniting. Maybe the burnouts they’re thinking of have floated to the bottom, where they formed this “organizing committee.”
In truth, their posturing and prioritization of identity over political line suggest something about their deeper error: a type of petit-bourgeois idealism designed to be most attractive to others taking a petit-bourgeois class stand, who are disinclined to investigate the substance of any particular claim and are most interested in what sounds most thrilling.
But beyond just showing how this “organizing committee” is projecting its many errors onto the existing US MLM movement, it is also important to go into exactly how badly mistaken they are about what they claim to be doing.
For starters, this project that aims to build the MLM party proposes what amounts to a call for a united front with revisionism. It should go without saying, but Marxism-Leninism-Maoism emerged from the need to clearly and decisively break withrevisionism. But this “MLM” organization announces that they will “build and link … non-Maoist comrades and formations” and then repeat later that they will “link up with comrades who may not be Maoist.”
To be sure, while non-Maoists will certainly compose a large number within even Maoist-led mass organizations, in this case exactly what type of relationship they propose isn’t clear. But even their lack of comment on this question reveals their wholly un-MLM attitude toward revisionism: “Why clarify what our line is toward revisionists?” Exactly how anti-revisionist they plan on being at any given moment seems to depend on how convenient it is for them.
These revisionists also state that the Maoist party “is seen as the vanguard of the masses by the masses, in particular the masses of the proletariat.”
We wish to emphasize the wording “seen as” here, because it illustrates so well their complete disregard of actual revolutionary science. Contrary to their claim that the party is the vanguard of the masses and of the proletariat “in particular,” the party is in fact the organized expression of the proletariat. And it is the party of the proletariat, and only of the proletariat.By suggesting it should be seen as the vanguard of the masses by the masses, they stumble near the Khrushchevite idea of a “party of the whole people,” an idea Mao mercilessly exposed in his struggle against phony communists. As with so many things in this document, it is difficult to tell how committed the “organizing committee” is to this mistaken formulation. But whether it is so under-developed that it cannot identify when it espouses “party of the whole people”-type Khrushchevite revisionism or if, in fact, it would double down on this line if directly questioned about it, it is anti-Maoist all the same: it demonstrates a stark liberalism that suggests that the party doesn’t need to draw firm lines or make clear and comprehensible formulations. And it barely needs to be said, but anyone capable of wandering into this theoretical mistake is not remotely fit to spearhead the foundation of the party of the proletariat.
The document also calls for summations but does not offer any from its many signatories, some of which contain only one person in their so-called “branch.” Single-person branches are an error already exposed in the recent history of the US MLM movement with the collapse of the NCP-LC, a verdict that would be known to them if they were genuinely interested in summations. But what’s more, when you ask the local Maoists who have actually and demonstrably been undertaking mass work in the cities listed at the end of the document, they say that their projects are not involved in this “organizing committee.”
On the subject of summations, the document also has some nice-sounding things to say about self-criticism, but this “organizing committee” is not even self-aware, let alone self-critical. Where is the self-criticism from the leading “collective” of this project, the very collective that has alienated itself thoroughly from the established Maoist movement? No communist goes without making any errors, least of all the “collective” spearheading this process, but nothing of their errors has been synthesized. And so like fools they stumble into their next mistake—forming a pre-party formation without a firm basis for unity and without any semblance of mass support.
And that gets to the heart of the question—exactly how does the organizing committee propose to organize the party?
They describe their intentions as follows:
“The purpose of the Maoist Communist Party Organizing Committee is to link up and unite all Marxist-Leninist-Maoists who can be united within the interests of revolution, to build working relationships with people, and to build and develop mass work practice and interpersonal and organizational unity, as well as to engage in principled and thorough struggle in the interests of advancing the utmost task of building a genuine party.”
This actually says nothing at all about organizing the party. It doesn’t even understand what an organizing committee actually does. This self-description is better suited to describe the activities already regularly being carried out by every collective that the “organizing committee” has abandoned and chastised. Linking up Maoists is the function of a liaison committee, not an organizing committee, which develops once the Maoists are linked up and have struggled for unity. An organizing committee has the responsibility of taking the existing groups and forming them into one—of organizing democratic centralism and electing countrywide and local leadership. This is work that immediately precedes the founding of the party. While confusion about the meaning of the terms is forgivable, launching a countrywide “organizing committee” without even establishing or developing cadres countrywide is not.
Let us be as clear as we can be: The basis of the knowledge necessary to organize the Maoist communist party will come about through practice, a practice sadly lacking in this project. Correct lines come about not from lofty abstract ideas and wishful thinking but through two-line struggle based on organizing among the masses. This effort takes the organizing of the party less seriously than one would take baking a cake. The fact is, conditions objectively do not merit its founding, and its own subjective forces also do not constitute a reasonable foundation for such an effort by any stretch of the imagination. They lack credibility and experience, both of which Lenin describes as necessary to form a revolutionary party. We see party-building as the principal task of all true communists in the US. Our position on this has not changed, and we continue to struggle forward, toward this goal. But we will not pretend that we can accomplish this task simply by declaring that we’ve accomplished it!
For a Maoist pre-party formation to have any validity, it would necessarily include organized and proven Maoists. It cannot be formed casually, with branches that have no history of proven practice. The idea that this is actually possible throws even the most basic Marxist theory of knowledge into the garbage. How could these “branches” meaningfully participate in the process of founding a communist party when only through mass work can a person have any valid ideas about how to build the communist party?
On that note, the lead “collective” is no more than a year old and has very little experience and even less proven success. It has tailed social democrats, run depoliticized, low-quality service programs, and even formed alliances with some of the most reactionary Trotskyite organizations. This is what those forming the “organizing committee” see as the “vanguard” of their movement.
We do not fault the genuine desire of comrades who feel the dire need for a Maoist party even if they have been roped into such a fool’s errand. Nonetheless, party-building means going all in for class struggle. It means proving our theory in practice and struggling around summations of our work for greater unity, a process that is ongoing and in fact has gone on for several years, steadily advancing us toward our goal.
We will not sell the snake oil of a false organizing committee to the people. The people deserve better than these charlatans. Communists must be the tribune of the people—this is necessary for the title of communist to have any meaning at all.
Serious-minded revolutionary communists in the US prisonhouse of nations must also take up security precautions and vetting processes and guard our internal information from the state, reactionaries, and revisionists. An “organizing committee” formed without a congress ever having been held, without a single face-to-face countrywide meeting, cannot begin to be trusted with the security of its members or the masses whom it aims to represent. The leading collective, based out of St. Louis, holds its cadre meetings over Google Hangouts and other online chat groups. This is beyond a doubt the way this “OC” was slapped together—hastily and without serious thought or honest hard work.
The absence of any real founding congress also indicates another alarming aspect: the lack of any actual coordinated political line struggle. Without such struggle, objectively there is no way it could have achieved genuine and deep unity with itself. No real space has been given to actually developing founding principles that are upheld by its signatories, and it truly has earned the nickname “the Communist Party of Facebook.”
When the real Maoist party is organized it will not be one or two new and undisciplined collectives and a scattered group of our online friends. It will be all of the most established, experienced, and steeled collectives in the US, holding an actual congress where we can struggle out ideological and political differences in a democratic process that will allow us to have true and honest unity. It will be on the basis of years of provable mass work and connections to the masses and each other. A “party formation” that allows random people from the internet to open branches is nothing but fool’s gold that cannot be expected to produce a single Bolshevik. We simply do not recognize this abomination. It is illegitimate and an affront to revolutionary communism. We will not recognize its branches or its leadership as a legitimate organization and we will not communicate with such a liability.
To be clear, we consider this a counter-revolutionary project that is concretely opposed to the whole of the MLM movement in the US (not just against those we are friends with). We do not seek pride of place and understand fully that the party-building effort rests with other Maoists, including those we are still struggling with. To anyone who may want help building a collective, we have always been more than willing to offer advice based on our limited experiences. We discourage anyone from falling into the bog of the new revisionist “OC” and encourage anyone duped into thinking this is legitimate to reach out and link up with actual Maoists.
Be humbled by the masses
Investigate the mass work of communists among the people.
On July 2, 2017, the far right and assorted fascists tried to bully and intimidate a large group of liberal Democrats who were participating in an “Impeach Trump” rally. It is not appropriate to think of the antagonists as fringe elements: fascism has been a steadily growing popular movement in the US, and Texas is no exception. However, there is unstable unity at best in the enemy camp. The popular fascist movement is rife with contradictions, not only ideological contradictions but also tactical and strategic contradictions.
It is crucial to understand that the far right relies on having a common enemy to unite around since there can be no unity among their varying programs and agendas. Every public action they take demonstrates this fact and shows off their own instability. They hoped to find this common enemy in the form of “antifa” and “red guard” [sic]. Fascist organizers are so desperate to conjure this enemy that they resort in many instances to false flag events and phony “antifa” pages that promise the bullheaded participants an enemy to confront. This tactic seldom pays off, and many are discouraged to be denied their promised glimpse at “antifa.” This slightly humorous scenario has played out all over the country, most notably in Houston around the Sam Houston monument and in Gettysburg, VA, where a fascist who came to fight “antifa” accidentally shot himself with a faulty revolver that he triggered with a flag pole. They attempted the same thing here in Austin on July 1. They used a fake antifascist page with the name “antifa USA” to bait antifascists to their rally—it did not work. Upon finding no “antifa” and no Red Guards Austin, they began accusing everyone from the Clintonites to the APD of being a “communist.” As funny as this sounds, what is exposed in their thinking is a more serious danger—and it is a harbinger of what life under growing fascist terror will resemble.
These events also expose a particular weakness inherited from the anarchist adoption of the name Antifascist Action. The original Antifascist Action was a far cry from the decentralized and largely depoliticized anarchist model of leaderless resistance. Antifascist Action and many of its variations were paramilitary street-fighting units with a relatively good level of discipline, sharing both strategy and long- and short-term goals. It was deeply connected to the German Communist Party, which controlled the proletarian slums and neighborhoods in pre-fascist Germany. Then too it came into sharp contradictions with social democracy and the liberal so-called left; these contradictions were often violent. We must understand that with its decentralized and low level of action, faulty communications networks, and completely voluntarist approach to work, it will continue being easy for anyone to call themselves “antifa” and call for actions that are not only risky and foolish but outright disadvantageous to the point of promising an enemy victory. In spite of the fascists’ claims, they were robbed of this victory in Austin—their honeypot was smelled for the trash heap that it was and everyone on the local level knew already that the calls to action from “antifa USA” were made by people outside of Austin who have no clue on what is going on in our city. No one was fooled and no “antifa” took the bait.
Still, to correct these errors we must seek a higher level of organizing antifascist resistance. We must study and apply military strategy when confronting the enemy, and we must not give the enemy any easy victories. Sometime this means being maneuverable and elusive and confronting them one by one, bite by bite, until they are eradicated. We study Mao on this question: even the US military finds it crucial to study his works on asymmetric warfare—it would seem the only ones not studying Mao are the common fascists. In the long term this contradiction will be solved with the creation of the Communist Party, which will lead the proletariat in all aspects of struggle, including the struggles against fascism. Today such a party would be necessarily guided by Marxism-Leninism-Maoism.
Why were communists not on the front lines defending the liberal march?
For starters we were not asked to defend them; we have no basis for unity with Democrats. The Democratic Party, which led the country for the past two presidential terms, and, true to its whole history, faithfully represents the bourgeois class. Obama was our enemy as we raged in the streets over the continued murders of black people by the police, and Hillary Clinton has been implicated in countless war crimes and is as dirty as they come—and we make little distinction between her and Trump politically. What the Democrats have given us is worsening conditions and imperialist crisis, which creates the fertile ground for fascism. While the system remains intact, we see very little to no use in impeachment campaigns, as whatever pig this system chooses for president still represents US imperialism and the monopoly class of capitalists at the top. Impeachment is simply not a communist demand, as it allows the state to go on with its bloodthirsty, genocidal activity without so much as skipping a beat. What we fight for is the smashing of the old state and its replacement with a new proletarian state.
More than anything else though, the contradiction between the fascists/far right and the liberal Democrats shows the faulty logic of the fascists’ reasoning as much as it shows the futile death throes of the Democratic Party, whose mass base is becoming more and more disillusioned with it. The dominant narrative among fascists in the US is one of “free speech” and First Amendment rights. They declare that because their hate speech is technically protected it should be accepted with no resistance and no consequence. These fascists of course did not care that the right to call for an impeachment is also protected free speech, as they chose to try to surround a number of Democrats. What the fascists detest is any sort of freedom for anyone outside of their preferred national interests. Fascism itself is the promise that democratic rights of all types are on the way out—especially for the working classes and particularly for oppressed sections of those classes. But the liberals’ faith was shaken. They insist that the police be worked with—the same police who time and time again not only defend but give physical assistance to fascist violence in Austin. The liberal Democrats paint both neo-Nazis and communists with the same brush. They are as guilty as the right of spreading rumors and disinformation about the masked bogeyman “antifa.”
On July 2 in Austin, many liberals for the first time (through the blinders of their own middle-class upbringing) came that much closer to understanding the purpose and necessity of antifascism. They begin to notice that Trump himself is not the biggest issue—fascism is. In this process many of them will bury their heads in the sand and forget what they witnessed firsthand in regard to the police/fascist collaboration. Others will begin to understand the purpose and necessity of antifascism, of organizing strong and militarized forces capable of defending the people, of pinning the fascists down and upon either violence or the threat of violence forcing them out. The fascists themselves as well as the current administration will be a recruitment force for the communist movement polarizing society and driving many to the far left. In the future under conditions of war they will be this movement’s supply line for weapons and equipment, which will be captured in battle.
The fascists have been unpacking a very old strategy whether or not they are themselves cognizant of this. In the years before Hitler came to power the Nazi party attacked left-leaning cities in Germany, focusing on proletarian neighborhoods in an effort to soften the hard communist influence. The Nazis understood how to manipulate and use the social democrats, who were the ruling party at the time, to their advantage. They also knew that the threat posed by their opposite (the Communist Party) was a significant one that could block their attempts at gaining state power. Now, just as then, the fascists target and focus on what they understand to be left centers: Austin, Berkeley, Portland, Seattle, and the list goes on. We should understand every street as a battleground, every place of social gathering as a site of struggle; we should understand that the solutions to this system will not grow within its institutions. We should give them no quarter in our workplaces and schools, and we should apply antifascism creatively and widely in ways that benefit the people. Antifascism must speak to the needs of the people—if it does not accomplish this, the fascist will be allowed to trick and deceive to push their poison on desperate communities. We should understand that the lack of solutions from either the Democrats or social democrats is precisely what made some people desperate enough to see a solution in Donald Trump, whose election victory blew wind into the sails of fascism.
We call on all those who struggle in the state of Texas to get organized, to cast aside illusions of a leaderless resistance—a pipe dream of an Occupy Wall Street type of antifascism—in favor of a genuine mass-based antifascist resistance organized along militant lines. We call on you to see the current struggles against fascism as warfare. We must institute people’s self-defense committees against fascism. We must learn to defend ourselves: to shoot and to fight. We must be better in all respects than the enemy, not only in ideological principle but in our physical abilities, in our courage, and in our perseverance. The battle for the streets has already commenced, and the least safe place is on the sidelines when there is no one left to defend you from the threat inherent in fascism’s rise. In these struggles we will build our party and we will win.
“Physical education not only strengthens the body but also enhances our knowledge. There is a saying: Civilize the mind and make savage the body. This is an apt saying. In order to civilize the mind one must first make savage the body. If the body is made savage, then the civilized mind will follow.”—Mao Zedong
A sloppy xenophobic hate group named ACT for America attempted to have a “March Against Sharia Law” today in Austin Texas as a part of a lager national protest. What unfolded was a miserable failure for these reactionary bigots – we would settle for nothing less.
A woman who goes by “Lauren Morris” was the apparent shot caller of the “March Against Sharia Law” protest. When interviewed she was forced to admit that the anti-fascists prevented her group from marching and giving their prepared speeches. This middle-aged white woman claims that her reasoning for amassing such a despicable group of 4chan nerds, confederates, and neo-Nazis is that she has been a victim of “female genital mutilation” by a doctor she believes was practicing sharia law on her. There is no need to point out how utterly ridiculous such a claim is.
The fascists stayed huddled up on the capitol’s sidewalk steps in the shade, pinned to a fence and surrounded by anti- fascists and other counter protesters who greatly outnumbered them and surrounded them on all corners for four hours. The pig’s strategy seemed to be to push the anti-fascists into to the sun in hopes of tiring us out in order to let the fascists protesters have their little march around downtown but we were not going down without a fight. There was a air of amateurishness within the ranks of the 200 something DPS riot cops today as many of them appeared to be visibly shaken and breaking discipline quite frequently. Perhaps there was a mass recruitment of DPS officers recently or maybe it was time for the rookies to try their training in the streets. There were points where we could see DPS officers breaking their line to in fact step away from the aggressing anti-fascist. They in turn had to be physically forced back into line by the head pig in charge. At one point, in an attempt to beat and arrest antifascist protesters, the riot cops charged into the crowd full force attacking and pushing people back, forcing people with families and small children to leave the area.
What the pigs were met with instead was a vicious fight back in which several pigs were hit on their helmets and in their faces. Homemade shields and sticks were used to meet their aggression and in the end antifascists managed to make two de-arrests and no one was taken into custody though the pigs tried their best to do so. You could see them frantically pointing out people who they claimed stuck them with sticks in an attempt to have the brave comrades arrested but they were not able to arrest a single person. It would appear that they were not prepared for the level of defense and coordination that antifascists went into this counter demo with. We maintain that it is our goal to grow in numbers and strength and that DPS and fellow pigs will never get away with assaulting us that easily. We encourage all to resist being kidnapped by the enemy and to fight back when you are attacked. Street battles like these are important concerts for our class, these kinds of conflicts train and prepare militants for future actions.
While there were many brave fighters on the frontlines of the police aggression we did not neglect the task of spreading anti-fascist literature and winning the support of many attendees and passersby, passing out pamphlets that explained what an antifascist is and the necessity of antifascism. We see popularizing antifascism as a key part of moving forward, no less important than militarization. There were multiple occasions where random tourists and people walking by stopped to thank antifascists for holding it down against ACT for America and in many cases some people hung out for a few minutes and joined in with antifascist chants. We had people of all stripes who found themselves showing support for the communists and anarchists who were drowning out the chants of the reactionaries.
After the police escalated violence against the antifascists many families with small children were forced to leave because of the dangerous situation the pigs had created. This did in fact decrease numbers. At some point it’s arguable that we were possibly out-numbered by the fascists towards the end of the protest; however this did not prevent us from holding ground. This was a testament to our endurance and confidence—our side simply fought harder and worked harder for the win. In the end the fascists walked away from their place on the fence demoralized and beaten and as each one filed out we took their spot further humiliating them, waving red flags and giving them an Austin antifascist goodbye. Soon after the DPS pigs filed out by the dozens leaving just APD to deal with the ensuing victory march! The fascists were not allowed to march in our streets whether or not they got permits. We on the other hand will continue to march when we want and where we want because we are the proletariat. Communists, anarchists, and other anti-fascists marched the very route that the fascist so desperately wanted to take. APD had a hell of a time trying to coral us as we jumped on top of their road blocks and took the streets. Simply put, it was a victory. The ragtag groups of reactionaries were sent packing and smaller groups of them were stalked through downtown on foot and in cars- some expressing concerns of getting jumped by anti-fascists. The heavy police presence prevented them from meeting prompt street justice but we suspect this will not always be the case. Many of them looked scared and confused and to them we say: never forget that feeling because it only gets worse from here for you if you continue to try to organize in our city.
While the fascists once again imported into our city, comrades throughout Texas brought crucial energy to the event, to them we owe our most sincere gratitude. Red salute to the Revolutionary Association of Houston–not only was their presence on the streets of great assistance to us but we are also delighted to see the spread of Maoism outside of Austin. We hope that Houston and Austin become sister cities and future bastions of red power. As always much love to our neighbors the Revolutionary Front San Marcos who have been locked in antifascist struggles of their own. Thanks to every local activist and antifascist and all who came to town to help us in this victory. Tactical alliances were of great importance and some serious differences were temporarily set aside so that the day would go to the antifascists. We commend all who fought alongside of us today.
Our objectives were simple: defend the people of Austin, deny the anti-Muslim bigots their ability to give speeches, and block any ability they would have to march in our beloved city. All three of these objectives were met. More important than single victories or defeats is persistence, adaptability, courage in battle and constant vigilance.
It has come to our attention that out of state fascists have been plotting false flag terrorist attacks which they aim to pin on “antifa.” A group of alt-right 4chan trolls who call themselves “anti-communist action” have mentioned the cities of Portland, Austin and San Bernardino as potential sites for their terrorist activity. These plots could be an effort from far right internet trolls to spread fear and doubt, or they could very well be concrete plots to harm the people. These types of attacks have taken place and do take place so they must be regarded seriously. Fascists will go to any length to accomplish their hateful goals. We must constantly organize against fascist terrorism, expose it to the people and steel them against it. We must win over the masses of people who are repulsed by such actions and turn those people into committed antifascists.
Fascism can be understood as the open terrorist dictatorship of the bourgeoisie (our current elite ruling class of monopoly capitalists). Anti-social terrorism is a reactionary action. Violent attacks hell bent on turning the hands of time backward against any social progress, whether it is genuine progress or just the unfounded fears of the right. It comes as no surprise that with the rise of fascism we see an increase in anti-social terrorism. Fascism both as a form of government as well as a social movement is inherently unstable; it must rely on desperate acts of malice and brutality. Even at lower levels of fascist organizing we see these actions and they will only grow in proportion with the fascist movement. It must be understood that the fascist will act out every level of violence they feel capable off and that bus stop knife attacks are a promise of future pogroms if unchecked.
Communists and other anti-fascists must be far sighted; this is why we do not rely on terrorism or any other violent anti-social activities. We work alongside the people in their day to day struggles to build popular movements, because without the masses of people all movements have a short shelf life. It is the masses of people themselves who are the movers of history; it is the people who propel history forward. This activity of the people is another reason why fascists rely on terrorism against the people themselves. This mass mobilization is what will rid the world of fascism. Our class must be organized into the Communist Party—a Marxist-Leninist-Maoist party which will lead in this battle. Terrorism and other anti-people crimes will not bring us closer to revolution; this is only accomplished through the conscious activity of the masses. Communists condemn individualist acts of violence because they do not and cannot serve our class. It is our ideology of class action which the state fears more than such individual actions. We must not tolerate activity which is reckless with the trust of our people.
The neo-Nazi internet trolls of 4chan have tried and to some degree been successful at popularizing their movement, but hardwired into these people is a streak of anti-social behavior that can put them at odds with even their right wing allies when they finally emerge out of the dark recesses of the internet and into the streets. The “alt-right” is just the term they prefer to hide their neo-nazi politics behind, with shitty hipster haircuts and a more palatable dress code. This is just another sub-cultural style which they use to gain mass appeal while clinging to plausible deniability of their fascist ideology.
Fascism tends to rely on dishonest populism and cryptic politics in order to capture an audience. It is for these same reasons that it must be ideologically confronted, exposed and denied a platform. Whenever fascism creeps into practical organizing it must be sent running back to its dungeons, even there it should be hunted monitored and pursued out of existence.
American fascists will pose a hardline on far right Islamic fundamentalists, even though their ideology is only a stone’s throw away from it. This can be at times perplexing because both are religious or far right extremists and the contempt can only be found in their oppositional nationalisms as well as the white supremacist ideology of the American fascist. Fascism is rife with contradiction; it cannot seek harmony even with itself. The more that we can expose these contradictions the more difficult the fascist will find it to organize using the conventional methods of the left—protests and mass gatherings etc.
While Trump claims that he will protect America from the kind of terrorist attacks London has been experiencing, what becomes clear is that these types of terrorist attacks on US soil are not being carried out by ISIS. They are being carried out by Trump’s most fervent supporters. It is the very people who champion the reactionary fascist slogan “make America great again” who are the ones terrorizing the population.
It would seem the right always behaves as a dog backed into a corner and this is consistent with their ideology. These “patriots” are reeling from the influx of immigrants that are the result of all American imperialist conquest across the world. A quick scroll through their forums and you can see them crying out about wanting to preserve the White race from genocide—because apparently the influx of black and brown people equals end of white people? This sort of racial paranoia leaves some of us asking “Now who are the ‘snowflakes’ again?” They make jokes about the left being “triggered” by their vulgar behavior yet it is they who shiver and cry “genocide” at the sight of mixed race babies.
While the fascist will at times try to use traditionally left wing methods and appear as activists, it is terrorism that is at their core. They even attempt to move into direct action “antifa” style confrontations in a desperate effort to secure their platform. We will never stoop to their level of anti-social terrorism; we will not stoop to crimes against the people! While the left and the right are mainly in a propaganda war at this stage we must nonetheless confront them. Their attacks on antifascists and the broad masses must be met with swift resistance by any means. Fascism must be resisted at all costs and we must build a popular antifascists movement—this is our crucial task. While not every single one of us can be on the frontlines it is important that we all find our place in the struggle against fascism. There are so many avenues for us to push the message of antifascism. We must remain creative and interwoven in the fabric of the people’s everyday life. We have to build a culture of resistance and rebellion. Whether by words or by deeds every act against fascism is needed: do not shut up, do not back down and do not hide in fear. The future which they promise is far more horrifying than anything we face today. Take heart and do not let them have an inch. We will win; we have only two choices ahead, resistance or subjugation.
We in RGA are hosting this guest article as call to action from trusted local antifascist organizers, we ask that you share this throughout social media, on blogs and everywhere possible to signal boost and spread the word!
Islamophobes plan to hold a rally at the state Capitol in Austin on June 10th against “sharia law”. We must first and foremost defend the people against these organized fascist hate groups. We have recently seen fascists converge on Austin in an attempt to make our city the Berkeley of the south. The far right sees Austin as a crown jewel which it wishes to capture; they want to be able to hold open hate rallies and move without being impeded. To do this, they need to go through the organized antifascists and the people of Austin. They see this city as a liberal oasis and like Berkeley they wish to combat this with uncompromising violence to go with their hateful rhetoric.
They have recently been known to ship fascists into town from all over the state to better carry out their reactionary agenda. This is the only chance they have at giving local antifascists a run for our money. This call can been seen from some of Houston’s most outspoken Neo-Nazis like William Fears, who in a recent video encouraged other fascists to converge on Austin specifically to attack the antifascist presence here. The fact that this video was produced by ex-con Fears who openly admits to being a Nazi and has a criminal record which includes aggravated kidnapping charges, burglary charges, criminal conspiracy and acquiring a fire arm with falsified documents should come as no surprise. All the far right calls for “law and order” are just more lies they tell to confuse people away from seeing these scum for what they are—predatory human-hating bigots.
The whole country reads report after report of white supremacist terrorism from a media which never calls it what it is—terrorism. Just this week we see news out of Portland Oregon where a white supremacist that was harassing some women he perceived to be Muslim turned to kill two men who tried to talk him down, seriously injuring a third. A man with a huge Swastika tattoo attacked and stabbed six people in Austin last year. It is clear that these people pose an immediate and real dangerous threat. We must seriously prepare to mobilize statewide networks of antifascists that can not only hold their ground in preventing the capitol city from hosting fascists, but can also popularize our struggle. Hundreds of antifascists, Muslims, immigrants and other Texans plan on countering the fascist event on June 10th. We humbly ask that you and your crews join us in giving the fascist scum a welcome they will not soon forget. If you love the people of your community, oppressed people and working people, then it is simple: you cannot tolerate fascists. Please invite your friends, your families, your co-workers, your classmates and everyone you know, car pool to Austin, and take a part in the historical struggle against fascism which is composed of many small battles like this one.
There is a multitude of events happening to confront the fascist activity which provide space for a diversity of tactics; no matter your methods for fighting back, or your level of comfort, you are needed and there will be room for you. No one in this struggle should feel more or less important than the next. We must all understand our personal and collective roles in stopping the spread of fascism. Just as a hand has many fingers, we must have many forces. It is when we come together and make a fist that the fascists can be halted in their tracks.
Our principle task must be to deny them movement, drown out their rhetoric and defend our communities. We must ideologically and physically confront them at every possible turn while emboldening others to do the same.
The fascists wish to blame Islam for the existence of ISIS, but it is leftist antifascist forces which deal the most shaking blows to ISIS fascism. Texas islamophobes have more in common with ISIS than anyone else and are fueled by the same kind of reactionary hatred. Do not let them terrorize the very same community that has suffered great wounds at the hands of ISIS. Do not let them turn tragedy into a rallying cry for fascism. These Trump supporters might be unwilling to accept the reality that their great leader supports Saudi Arabia, a reactionary regime which abuses the people under their dogmatic understanding of “sharia law,” but we do not fail to see the irony. We must make it clear that we stand with the Muslim community against both ISIS and these domestic reactionary bigots.
We call on all antifascists from around the state and region! We ask for your help in shutting these bastards down, defending the Muslim community and striking a blow against fascism. The far right has chosen Austin as a key trench in their war, let’s bury them in that trench under a sea of anti-fascist resistance. Let’s come together with dignity, for victory.
“Behind everything we say is our flag, a flag that is the source of hope, a red flag unfurled to the wind. For a long time some wanted to strike our political line on two flanks but we stated that we would pass through the middle. We accomplished this with our heads held high, beating drums and our vision of a distant future. The deeds go on hammering you and your mind opens, generating the idea. We are not abandoning the banners like some foolish person would think because our hands were not made for dropping the flag but for unfurling it.” –Central Committee of the Communist Party of Peru, 1979
The fascists who confronted Austin’s Red May 1st march tried relentlessly to capture our leading banner. We held tight to it and stand firmly behind our banner, we will never let it drop. As this country spirals into the cesspool of fascism and liberalism’s best answers just lead to collaboration with the far right, we must seriously take up the task not only of self-defense on the personal and community level, but we must also struggle to unite all genuine antifascists behind the necessity of revolution. Revolution means the long fight for communism and nothing less.
There are those who would demand we surrender; between surrendering to developing fascism and a death earned defending people from it, we must unwaveringly choose the later. We must reconstitute ourselves with communist morality. We must not let our spirits fall. We must bash away the storm clouds which now loom over the most oppressed and struggling people of this country. It is on these values alone that we persist—these values are our bread and our water.
There are those snakes that would tempt with the charms of “safety” or “respectability”, yet there are none less respectable and none more dangerous to the people than these serpents. They have infected the movement for too long and their venom must now be drained. A light emerges through the fog of revisionism, liberalism, and centrism. That light is Maoism and we are the Maoists. We are communists and this is the highest honor which life will bestow. Struggles of such magnitude demand sacrifice in service of the people. We must see no higher task than uniting with the people in the interest of revolution. We must unite the people firmly against the rising flood of fascism. We must steel them in this struggle and embed ourselves inextricably within them.
Reaction in all its expressions rots on the vines of history—it is already in the scrap heap and there it festers still infecting any who come into contact with it. This contagion must be eradicated. The “alt-right”, the less open but no less fascist Trump supporter, the policies of the Trump administration, all must be cured like the diseases they are. Fascist infection of the world was cured before with the victorious march of the Red Army and the treads of their tanks which rode over the skulls of Hitler’s best forces. Fascism is cured with bullets; this is the only discourse for fascism.
What is worth more to us than one successful May Day march are the hard lessons which correct our tactics. What is worth the most is an increased morale and an increased fighting spirit. We send our warmest greetings to our Maoist comrades across this prison house of nations: Red Guards-Los Angeles, Kansas City Revolutionary Collective, Red Guards-Philadelphia, Queen City Maoist Collective, Tampa Maoist Collective, Revolutionary Association of Houston, and all the newer collectives who we have yet to establish official communications with. We send our thanks and salutations to all the revolutionary mass organizations here and elsewhere who inspire our persistence and constitute firm links with the people: Serve The People, Revolutionary Alliance of Trans People Against Capitalism, Defend Our Hoodz, Revolutionary Student Front, Palestine Solidarity Committee. We extend thanks to comrades who have stood with us in the streets: Autonomous Student Network , Oh Shit What Now?, Anarchist Black Cross, and organizations in other cities that are in direct service to their communities. We extend special honors to antifascists across the land who put themselves in harm’s way defending our communities from the menace—you know who you are and do your work in secret with great pride. Ultimately our greatest gratitude must go out to the working class who alone must be the leading class in the long and ongoing struggle against fascism—everyday working people who persist and fight against the odds in this decrepit capitalist nightmare.
Together we are invincible but only if we fight without fear or relenting. When we fight we fight for communism and everything else will come in time.